What can you learn from a horse? Some lessons are simple: perhaps you are afraid to get in the saddle, but you build courage by riding anyway. Some lessons are a little more complex: the way you lead a horse is a lot like leading people…are you patient? Do you work with the horse or get frustrated if he doesn’t obey?
The Cabbage Patch and HOOF (Horses Offering Opportunities for the Future) have partnered together again this year to provide a horse camp where horsemanship reflects such life lessons. Campers learn grooming, riding and participate in equestrian games and crafts.
HOOF KY is a 501(c)3 organization that provides disadvantaged or at-risk youth with constructive activities that teach stewardship of the horse and encourages community responsibility. They combine the magic of the horse with experiential learning to teach equine skills that foster the attributes of self-discipline, confidence, and responsibility. HOOF shares The Cabbage Patch’s philosophy of teaching children to make positive use of their time when faced with negative influences. Learning equine skills and cultivating the companionship of a horse can increase a child’s sense of confidence and enable him to think independently.
In a recent CNN article profiling a Connecticut equine program that works with at-risk children, “cowgirl” Patricia Kelly said, “When you teach a child to ride a horse, they learn they are the center of their environment. Once they make that connection, they can change what happens in school, at home and in the community.”
Horseback riding is a lifelong leisure hobby which can be very therapeutic. Due to the high value of a program like this, Horse Camp is only available to the children of The Patch because of the wonderful partnership with the HOOF organization. We are so thankful for our community partners that enrich our offerings to at-risk youth!